Does a jar of Marmite really have to have a flag on it?

COMMENT: Ask for ID - it’s better to be safe than sorry

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I’ve had enough of the Union flag. There, I’ve said it. But I confess to feeling a tiny bit ashamed and unpatriotic.

You see, I’ve always loved our flag. It’s super cool, incredibly distinctive and comes with so much history and passion that it’s never failed to stir me with that feeling of belonging to something bigger than myself.

But right now I’m getting tired of it all. Union flags were meant to be seen in the summer sunshine, not on the supermarket shelves.

Could all those marketers and branders not think of anything else to do with their packaging this summer?

I understand the bunting, the plates, the napkins, the tablecloths and all the paraphernalia of Jubilee street parties.

But come on, does a jar of Marmite really have to be branded with a flag?

After all, Marmite feels like one of the most British products you can buy, even if it is half-Dutch. I’m pretty sure that no-one else in the world eats it.

Cadbury is another flag-flying sinner, loading up its chocolate packaging with red, white and blue. Even Tabasco sauce has got into the hot action with its box.

I noticed that Nescafe is having an on-the-fence moment, putting a small flag on jars of coffee as if it’s not too sure what the reaction will be.

Maybe it’s just companies which are owned abroad who are using and abusing our fine flag to market produce to us.

Perhaps their experts in Holland, America and Switzerland were thinking ‘aha, this is the way to appeal to those crazy tea-drinking, island-living, dog-loving, cheese-rolling, stiff-upper-lip Brits.’

But then, the Cornish producers of Davidstow cheddar have gone with bunting (and a flag), so my overseas theory doesn’t hold out.

I like the more subtle approach. Kingsmill bread has changed to Queensmill (very good) and Tate & Lyle’s Golden Syrup has a ‘Happy and Glorious’ twist to the existing design on tins.

But the jury’s out on Weetabix’s ‘Fuel Britannia’.

I reckon the ‘bix would have got a gold medal were in not for the darn Union flags, so now they’ll have to settle for a bronze.